The chickpea and tahini spread known as hummus is intrinsic to the cuisine of Israel as well as to that of just about every country in the Middle East.
In the bad-but-funny Adam Sandler movie, "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," hummus becomes the source of much humor; the versatile dip serves as hair gel, toothpaste and even puts out a fire.
Here are some places for exceptional hummus.
171 Hillside Ave., Williston Park
This cozy Persian dining spot serves a hummus ($3.95) that's one of several good spreads.
2320 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-644-2200
1610 Old Country Rd., Westbury, 516-228-0001
Both these restaurants feature the cuisine of Azerbaijan, rife with Persian and Turkish influences. Their hummus ($5.95) doesn't stint on the garlic.
This Turkish eatery serves a silky smooth hummus ($4.50) shot through with garlic and tahini.